Disco is back.

Straight out of Matlock (Derbyshire, UK), comes the sassy disco/funk band Patawawa – members Sam Wilmot, Rory Lovatt and Beth Garrett. We spoke to Beth about dreams, new projects and wild parties. 

They started as a band back in 2015, but it was in 2018 when they released their first EP and their notoriety started to grow, being named as one of “The 100 Essential New Music of 2018” by NME and introduced by the BBC6 as “one of the bands to look for”. Their EP called Bedroom (place where they conceive their music) received really good reviews and their single Patagonia has more tan 1.5M plays on Spotify. Even Millie Bobby Brown fell in love with it and used the track to announce her make up brand called Florence

The release was followed by tracks as Alive featuring Dopla (which can be found in our August Playlist), Never Been Better or Touched By Love, both included in their second EP London, Paris, New York, Matlock. The last single it’s called That Guy and you can listen to it below.

The trio’s aim is to bring back funky and disco sounds as an attempt to modernize them using the tools that define the new DIY scene. Their voices are constantly alternating between feminine and masculine and perfectly syncs with nudisco rhythms. Coming from a small town doesn’t need to imply that you can’t be recognized by the rest of the world, something they are achieving pretty fast.

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Patawawa comes from Matlock, the county town of Derbyshire. Do you think that making music is a tool to open to new horizons, as an attempt to escape from your hometown, or do you feel comfortable in small places?

For anyone who has never been to Matlock, I think its important to understand that it is possibly the greatest place in the UK, certainly not a place that you would ever want to leave. Have there been times where we have ventured out of Matlock? Of course. I went away to fail Uni, Rory moved to Sheffield for a bit and Sam has worked in chippys all the way from Devon to Manchester, but when we finally had the opportunity to quit our jobs, we were quick to snub the big smoke and come back to good old Matlock. It’s actually a great place for creating music, lots of greenery, pubs and a great underground party scene. If anything, I think music has enabled us to stay in Matlock as long as possible, and for that I am very grateful. 

Your songs are quite catchy and joyful and at the same time they possess a strong melancholic influence about rejecting past decisions, mostly reflected on your lyrics. Is it writing about past experiences the right way to overcome them? 

I guess the most regrettable decisions make the most interesting song subject matter; nobody wants to hear about the day I took my grandma to Morrison’s in Derby. Having said that, people are going through shit all the time and its sort of our job to make sweet boogie music to get people partying and generally cheer everyone up. It’s a careful balance between catharsis, making it relatable and keeping it light. 

This summer you have shared stage with some big names, such as Miles Kane, Wolf Alice, Foals, and with one of your biggest inspirations, the Irish indie pop band Two Door Cinema Club. You are proving that it is possible to achieve anything you set your mind into. Which dreams would you like to achieve if there wasn’t any limit?

Well I can’t speak for Rory and Sam, and get ready to cringe, but I feel like I’m achieving my dreams already. I get to sing on stage and party while making music with my pals, and most important thing: I only have to work part time! Do I even need to say any more? Obviously, if we’re dishing out free dreams then I would really like noticeable abs.

That would be pretty cool too. Drive us through your upcoming projects. 

We have just released a song called That Guy, which appeared on BBC Hot List. We have got a couple more tunes to release before Christmas and if it all goes well maybe we can put it all on some sort of album next year. We’re putting them on our own gigs called “Patawawa Presents.” We have some great acts playing such as Tungz, Harry Diggle and Karma Kid. Keep your eyes peeled for one near you! 

Are you still contemplating the possibility to add new members to the band or would you like to continue as a trio?

We’ll be touring the UK and Europe in November and BIG REVEAL, we have actually employed two new members! Legendary Canadian, Dan Byrne, is our incredible new drummer. We also have jazz pianist Robert Dimbleby playing with us now and again, he is super talented and plays in tons of other amazing bands. 

I’ve found the Patawawa’s party playlist (Sam’s Tunes) in your official site. What is the wildest party you have been to?

Well there was this one party, the weirdest (and wildest) thing about it was the sheer amount of taxidermy everywhere. Anyway, a quad bike and the TV were both stolen, two people had to go home in an ambulance, one of whom had been shot in the head with a BB gun, someone passed out and my brother somehow caught acne, which apparently is medically impossible. The house was trashed but it was an incredible party. 

That’s absolute madness! And last but not least, I would like to ask each of you three little questions

SAM

A song you can’t stop listening to at the moment?

In Motion by Jank Setup.

A wish for the upcoming future?

To grow a little beard.

Say a few words to your bandmates.

Have you got any beard growing oil?

BETH

A song you can’t stop listening to at the moment?

Iyongwe by John Wizards.

A wish for the upcoming future?

That all non-reusable plastics were made illegal.

Say a few words to your bandmates.

Cant help you Sam duck, my beard is au natural. 

RORY

A song you can’t stop listening to at the moment?

Disco Ulysses (Instrumental) by Wulfpeck.

A wish for the upcoming future?

For Sam’s beard to come through. 

Say a few words to your bandmates.

Hope your beard comes through Sam. 

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Check out their upcoming dates and where to see them live, here.

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Words Adriana Barreno.

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